Cross hits game-winning single to keep Mavs alive

CSU-Pueblo’s softball team had already watched Sara Jordan hit two over the wall Friday, so it was no wonder with the game on the line, Mesa State College’s hard-hitting pitcher was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Lauren Cross came through with a game-winning single to center to keep the Mavericks alive in the RMAC tournament with a 7-6 victory that eliminated the ThunderWolves.

“(Jordan) gets upset when people walk her but I told her that’s what the game says to do,”

Mesa State coach Kris Mort said. “If you’re hurting people, if there’s room, they put you on.

That’s a sign of respect.”

The Mavericks followed that with a 5-3 victory over Regis University to reach the losers’ bracket final in the double-elimination tournament this morning against Colorado School of Mines. The Orediggers, who beat Mesa State 4-0 on Thursday, lost to top-seeded Metro State 9-4 to fall into the elimination round.

The winner of this morning’s game must beat Metro State twice this afternoon to win the conference title, which brings with it an automatic berth in the Central Region tournament.

Mesa State entered the tournament ranked 10th in the region, with only eight teams making the field. However, the Mavericks have beaten three teams ranked ahead of them in the region, No. 9 Adams State, No. 6 CSU-Pueblo and No. 7 Regis, knocking all three out of the conference tournament.

“I think so,” Mort said when asked if she thought the Mavs were playing their way into the regional. “I just got a text from Butch (Miller, Mesa’s athletic director) that said ‘you think we’ve got a chance?’ I think so. Regis was seven and Pueblo was six, so sure, I would think so.”

Jordan went 4 for 4, scored twice, drove in four runs and picked up the win in relief of Jessica Rayman. Cross went 2 for 5 with an RBI. 

Rayman went the distance against the Rangers, allowing three runs on 11 hits and striking out six. Gabi Parra went 2 for 4 with a pair of RBI.

“They’re playing pretty well right now,” Mort said. “It was a great game with Pueblo, I’m sure it was a fun game to watch.”


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